ANIMALS KILLED FOR FOOD
|“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
Leonardo da Vinci
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
What You Can Do
Begin learning about becoming a vegetarian or a vegan. A vegetarian is someone who does not eat the flesh of any living being including chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, crustaceans, or fish. A vegan is someone who makes every effort to avoid eating, wearing or using all animal products. Try the many new and flavorful “meat” alternatives, or mock meats, now available at health food stores and at many regular supermarkets. Delicious soy and rice “milks” are now available at all grocery stores. Keep trying new animal-free foods.
When you see veal on a menu, always speak to the manager or owner of the restaurant to complain about the particularly brutal treatment of calves for this dish. If told their veal is “free range,” tell them there is no such thing. By definition, veal must be kept in certain conditions to produce this type of meat. If it is “free range,” it cannot be called “veal.”
Other Useful Resources
Here are the facts:
- Americans consume a million land animals an hour. Every second, 300 beings are slaughtered for food. If we include sea animals, then 9 million animals die an hour to feed Americans, or 2500 a second.
- There are virtually no local, state or federal laws protecting animals, either throughout their lives or during slaughter. Factory farm managers and employees can treat animals in any way they wish in order to maximize profits, with no regard whatsoever for the suffering involved. The one law available, the Downed Animal Protection Act, is seldom enforced.
- Six million hens are being starved to death at any given moment in the U.S. – called “forced molting.” This inhumane practice results in greater egg production, but thousands die during this 10-14 day mass starvation. Many more die by gorging themselves and choking to death when food finally is provided. Factory farm managers count these deaths “acceptable,” as long as overall profits remain high.
- Every day in the U.S., over 200,000 male chicks are purposely suffocated or thrown, fully conscious, into a grinder to be crushed, as they cannot lay eggs or be sold for food and so are not useful to the farmer.
- Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated. Their babies are taken away within 24 hours of birth. They are fed massive quantities of drugs to force unnaturally high milk production.
- At auction time, if natural labor has not begun, the dairy farmer may wrap chains around the calf’s legs and forcibly yank the baby from his mother’s womb. These helpless infants, with umbilical cords still attached, are shipped to the auction house.
- After purchase and transport, these babies, now “veal calves,” are imprisoned in crates so small that they are unable to even turn around. This lack of exercise, combined with diet deliberately deficient in iron and other essential nutrients, results in continuous diarrhea, but creates the “pale” meat desired by restaurants. The abuse continues by keeping calves in darkness 22 hours out of every day to prevent “restlessness.” By the time the calves are slaughtered, they are often blind, crippled, extremely weak and sick, and must be dragged or carried to their own death.
- Turkeys are genetically altered to produce such huge breasts that their legs cannot hold their weight. Many are unable to stand for much of their sad lives.
- To produce the luxury item “foie gras,” farmers shove funnels down the throats of ducks and geese, force feeding them huge quantities of grain, causing extreme damage to their bodies and early and painful deaths.
- Over 75 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are fed to animals on factory farms to mitigate the high rates of illness caused by these horrendous conditions.
- Transportation for most slaughtered animals is a nightmare. Packed into trucks for up to four days, without food, water or rest, many animals die from thirst, heat stroke, injury from other frightened animals, or may become frozen to the sides of trucks or to other animals.
- Animals who are too weak or injured to walk to their own slaughter are left to die on “downer” piles, sometimes for days without food or water, or any regard for their suffering.
- Workers on kill lines in slaughterhouses have begun suing slaughterhouse owners for the horrific working conditions that require them to scald, slit, club and dismember fully conscious animals who are kicking, thrashing or clawing. For the slaughterhouse manager, speed of the kill line is paramount. Slowing down the line for any reason, including reducing the suffering of animals, is unthinkable.
- There are two more reasons to eliminate factory farming: human health and the environment.